Numbers 30:2 - 36:13  Lesson 38
Torah Portion Matot Massei

Numbers 30   (Torah Portion Matot Massei)

2 When a man makes a solemn promise to the Lord or swears a solemn pledge of binding obligation for himself, he cannot break his word. He must do everything he said.

When a woman makes a solemn promise to the Lord or a binding obligation while she is young and in her father’s household, and her father hears her solemn promise or her binding obligation for herself and keeps silent—then all her solemn promises and any of her binding obligations for herself will stand. But if her father expresses disapproval to her on the day that he hears her, none of her solemn promises nor any of her binding obligations for herself will stand. The Lord will forgive her, because her father expressed disapproval to her.

If she marries while her solemn promise is in effect or makes a statement by which she binds herself, and her husband hears it and on the day he hears it keeps silent—her solemn promises will stand as well as her binding obligations for herself. But if on the day that her husband hears it he expresses disapproval to her, he can break her solemn promise and the statement by which she bound herself. Then the Lord will forgive her.

Every solemn promise of a widow or a divorced woman who makes a binding obligation for herself will stand.

10 If a woman makes a solemn promise in her husband’s household or makes a binding obligation for herself with a solemn pledge, 11 and her husband hears, keeps silent, and doesn’t express disapproval to her—then all her solemn promises will stand and all her binding obligations for herself will stand. 12 If her husband breaks them on the day he hears them, then whatever she said with regard to her solemn promises or the binding obligations for herself will not stand. Her husband has broken them. The Lord will forgive her.

13 Her husband may allow any solemn promise or any binding pledge of self-denial to stand or be broken. 14 But if her husband keeps silent from one day to the next, he has upheld all her solemn promises, or all her binding obligations. He has upheld them because he remained silent on the day he heard them. 15 If he breaks them after he has heard them, he will assume her guilt.

16 These are the regulations that the Lord commanded Moses concerning a husband and his wife and between a father and his daughter while she is young and in her father’s household.

Numbers 31   (Torah Portion Matot Massei)

The Lord spoke to Moses: Take just reparations for the Israelites from the Midianites. Afterward you will join your ancestors.

Moses spoke to the people: “Equip some of your men for battle so that they may go against Midian and execute the Lord’s just punishment against Midian. You will send out for battle one thousand from each of the tribes of Israel.”

From the thousands of Israel, one thousand from each tribe were selected. Twelve thousand were equipped for battle. Moses sent them to battle, one thousand from each tribe, along with Phinehas, Eleazar the priest’s son, who carried the sanctuary equipment and the trumpets for sounding the alarm in his hand. They battled against Midian as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed every male. They killed the kings of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian, along with others slain. They also killed Balaam, Beor’s son, with the sword. The Israelites took captive the Midianite women, their little ones, all their cattle, their herds, and their possessions. 10 They burned all the cities where they lived and their encampments. 11 They took all the spoils of war and the valuable property, both human and animal, 12 and they brought the captives, the valuable property, and the spoils of war to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the Israelite community, at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the chiefs of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses became angry with the commanders of the army, the officers of thousands and the officers of hundreds, who came back from the battle. 15 Moses said to them, “Have you let all the women live? 16 These very women, on Balaam’s advice, made the Israelites break faith with the Lord in the affair at Peor, so there was a plague among the Lord’s community. 17 Now kill every male child and every female who has known a man intimately by sleeping with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known a man intimately by sleeping with him, spare for yourselves. 19 You will remain outside the camp for seven days. Everyone among you or your captives who has killed a person or touched a corpse must purify themselves on the third and seventh days. 20 You must also purify every garment, and everything made of leather, goats’ hair, or wood.”

21 Eleazar the priest said to the men of battle who had gone out to war, “This is the regulation in the Instruction that the Lord commanded Moses: 22 Gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead— 23 anything that can withstand fire—you will put through the fire and it will be clean. It will also be purified with the water of purification. Anything that isn’t able to withstand fire, you will immerse in water. 24 You must wash your clothes on the seventh day and you will be clean. Afterward you may enter the camp.”

25 The Lord said to Moses: 26 You, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the community’s households must take an inventory of the valuable property and the captives, both human and animals, 27 and divide the valuable property between the warriors who went into battle and the entire community. 28 You will offer as tribute to the Lord from each warrior who went into battle one living being in five hundred, whether human, oxen, donkeys, or flocks.29 Take it from the warriors’ half and give it to Eleazar the priest as a gift offering to theLord. 30 But from the Israelites’ half you will take one out of every fifty, whether from human, oxen, donkeys, or flock—all the animals. You will give them to the Levites who carry out the duties of the Lord’s dwelling.

31 Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. 32 The valuable property remaining from the spoils of war that the people of the army had taken was 675,000 sheep, 33 72,000 oxen, 34 61,000 donkeys, 35 and 32,000 women who hadn’t known a man intimately by sleeping with him. 36 The half-share of those who had gone out to battle numbered 337,500 sheep, 37 of which the Lord’s tribute was 675. 38 The oxen were 36,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 72. 39 The donkeys were 30,500, of which theLord’s tribute was 61. 40 Humans were 16,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 32 persons. 41 Moses gave the tribute, a gift offering for the Lord, to Eleazar the priest as theLord had commanded Moses.

42 As for the half-share of the Israelites that Moses divided from those who had gone out to battle: 43 the community’s half-share was 337,500 sheep, 44 36,000 oxen, 45 30,500 donkeys, 46 and 16,000 humans. 47 Moses took from the Israelites’ half one out of every fifty, from humans and animals. He gave them to the Levites who carry out the duties of the Lord’s dwelling, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

48 The commanders over the thousands of the army, officers over thousands and officers over hundreds, approached Moses 49 and said to Moses, “Your servants have counted the warriors in our charge and not one of us is missing. 50 We have brought the Lord’s offering that each found, gold articles—anklets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces—to seek reconciliation for ourselves before the Lord.” 51 Moses and Eleazar the priest took all the gold articles from them. 52 All the gold for the gift offering that was presented to the Lord from the officers of thousands and the officers of hundreds was sixteen thousand seven hundred fifty shekels. 53 Each of the men of battle took spoils of war for himself. 54 Yet Moses and Eleazar the priest also received the gold from the officers of thousands and of hundreds, and they brought it to the meeting tent as a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord.

Numbers 32   (Torah Portion Matot Massei)

The livestock owned by the Reubenites and the Gadites were unusually vast and numerous. They saw that the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead were exactly the place for livestock. So the Gadites and the Reubenites came and said to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the chiefs of the community: “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon is the land that the Lord struck down before the Israelite community. It is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” They said, “If you approve our request, give this land to your servants as property. Don’t make us cross the Jordan.”

Moses said to the Gadites and the Reubenites, “Should your brothers go to war, while you stay here? Why would you destroy the Israelites’ resolve to cross into the land that the Lord gave them? Your ancestors did this, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to inspect the land. They went up to the Cluster ravine, saw the land, and destroyed the Israelites’ resolve to enter the land that the Lord had given them. 10 The Lord became angry on that day and promised, 11 ‘None of the persons that went up from Egypt, those 20 years old and above, will see the fertile ground that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they didn’t remain true to me, 12 except Caleb, Jephunneh the Kenizzite’s son, and Joshua, Nun’s son, because they remained true to the Lord.’ 13 The Lord became angry with the Israelites and made them wander in the desert for forty years until the entire generation had died, which had done evil in the Lord’s eyes. 14 Now you’ve taken the place of your ancestors, a group of sinful men, to intensify the Lord’s anger against Israel.15 If you turn away from him, he will turn away again to abandon Israel in the desert. Then you will destroy this entire people.”

16 So they approached him and said, “We will build walled enclosures here for our livestock and towns for our children. 17 Then we will eagerly fight in front of the Israelites until we have brought them into their place. Our children will live in the fortified cities because of the land’s inhabitants. 18 And we won’t return to our homes until each one of the Israelites takes possession of his property. 19 We won’t inherit land with them there across the Jordan, because we’ve received our property on the east side of the Jordan.”

20 Moses said to them, “Do this and fight before the Lord in war. 21 All of you who are equipped for war, cross the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him 22 and the land is subdued in the Lord’s presence. Then you may return innocently before the Lord and Israel, and this land will be your property before the Lord.23 But if you don’t do this, you’ve sinned against the Lord. Know that your sin will find you.24 So build towns for your children and walled enclosures for your flocks, but do what you have promised.”

25 The Gadites and the Reubenites said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my master has commanded. 26 Our children, wives, livestock, and all of our animals will remain in the cities of Gilead. 27 But your servants, everyone equipped for war before the Lord, will go over to do battle as my master said.”

28 Moses made demands for them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua, Nun’s son, and to the leaders of the households of the Israelite tribes. 29 Moses said to them, “If the Gadites and the Reubenites cross the Jordan with you, each equipped for battle before the Lord, and the land is subdued before you, then you will give them the land of Gilead as a possession. 30 If, however, they don’t cross with you, equipped for war, they will take possession of property with you in the land of Canaan.”

31 The Gadites and the Reubenites answered, “We’ll do just as the Lord has spoken to your servants. 32 We’ll cross into the land of Canaan before the Lord, equipped for war. But the property we inherit will be across the Jordan.”

33 So Moses gave to them—to the Gadites, the Reubenites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, Joseph’s son—the kingdom of Sihon the king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og the king of Bashan, including the land, its cities, and the territory surrounding the land’s cities. 34 The Gadites built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran, fortified cities and walled enclosures for flocks. 37 The Reubenites built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, and Baal-meon (whose names were changed), and Sibmah. They named the cities that they built. 39 The descendants of Machir, Manasseh’s son, went to Gilead, captured it, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir, Manasseh’s son, and he lived there. 41 Manasseh’s son Jair went and captured their villages and named them Havvoth-jair. 42 Nobah went and captured Kenath and its surrounding villages. He renamed it Nobah after himself.

Numbers 33   (Torah Portion Matot Massei)

These were the stages by which the Israelites marched when they left the land of Egypt, according to their military units under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Moses recorded the points of departure for each stage of the march at the Lord’s command. These are the stages of their march according to their points of departure.

They marched from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the day after the Passover the Israelites went out defiantly in the sight of all the Egyptians, while the Egyptians were burying their oldest males, whom the Lord had killed. The Lord also executed judgments against their gods. The Israelites marched from Rameses and they camped at Succoth. They marched from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. They marched from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which faces Baal-zephon, and they camped before Migdol. They marched from Pi-hahiroth and they crossed through the sea toward the desert.

Then they traveled three days in the Etham desert and they camped at Marah.

They marched from Marah and arrived at Elim. At Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees and they camped there.

10 They marched from Elim and camped by the Reed Sea.

11 They marched from the Reed Sea and camped in the Sin desert.

12 They marched from the Sin desert and camped at Dophkah.

13 They marched from Dophkah and camped at Alush.

14 They marched from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.

15 They marched from Rephidim and camped in the Sinai desert.

16 They marched from the Sinai desert and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah.

17 They marched from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.

18 They marched from Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah.

19 They marched from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez.

20 They marched from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah.

21 They marched from Libnah and camped at Rissah.

22 They marched from Rissah and camped at Kehelathah.

23 They marched from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher.

24 They marched from Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.

25 They marched from Haradah and camped at Makheloth.

26 They marched from Makheloth and camped at Tahath.

27 They marched from Tahath and camped at Terah.

28 They marched from Terah and camped at Mithkah.

29 They marched from Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.

30 They marched from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.

31 They marched from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.

32 They marched from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad.

33 They marched from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah.

34 They marched from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.

35 They marched from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber.

36 They marched from Ezion-geber and camped in the Zin desert (that is, Kadesh).

37 They marched from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the edge of the land of Edom. 38 Aaron the priest ascended Mount Hor at the Lord’s command, and he died there in the fortieth year on the first day of the fifth month after the Israelites left the land of Egypt. 39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor. 40 The Canaanite king of Arad, who ruled in the arid southern plain in the land of Canaan, heard of the Israelites’ coming.

41 They marched from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.

42 They marched from Zalmonah and camped at Punon.

43 They marched from Punon and camped at Oboth.

44 They marched from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim in the territory of Moab.

45 They marched from Iyim and camped at Dibon-gad.

46 They marched from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim.

47 They marched from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the Abarim mountains in front of Nebo.

48 They marched from the Abarim mountains and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

49 They camped by the Jordan from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.

50 The Lord spoke to Moses on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho:51 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 you will drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. You will destroy all their carved figures. You will also destroy all their cast images. You will eliminate all their shrines. 53 You will take possession of the land and live in it, because I’ve given the land to you to possess. 54 You will divide up the land by lot according to your clans. To the large you will make its inheritance large, and to the small you will make its inheritance small. To whomever the lot falls, that place will be his. You will inherit land according to your ancestral tribes. 55 But if you don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those you allow to remain will prick your eyes and be thorns in your side. They will harass you in the land in which you are living. 56 Then what I intended to do to them, I’ll do to you.

Numbers 34   (Torah Portion Matot Massei)

1 The Lord said to Moses: Command the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land of Canaan, this is the land that will fall to you as an inheritance. The land of Canaan according to its boundaries:

Your southern boundary extends from the Zin desert alongside Edom. Your southern border extends from the edge of the Dead Sea on the east. Your border will turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim and cross toward Zin. Its limit will be south of Kadesh-barnea. It will go out to Hazar-addar and cross toward Azmon. The border will then turn from Azmon to the Egypt ravine. Its limit will be at the Mediterranean Sea.

Your western border will be the Mediterranean Sea. This will be your western border.

This will be your northern border: From the Mediterranean Sea you will mark out your boundary to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor you will mark out your boundary to Lebo-hamath. The limit of the border will be Zedad. The border will go out to Ziphron. Its limit will be Hazar-enan. This will be your northern border.

10 You will mark out your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham. 11 The border will descend from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. The border will go down and meet the eastern slope of the Galilee Sea. 12 The border will descend to the Jordan. Its limit will be the Dead Sea.

This will be your land with its borders all around.

13 Moses commanded the Israelites: This is the land that you will inherit by lot, which theLord has commanded to give to the nine and a half tribes, 14 because the tribe of Reuben by their households and the tribe of Gad by their households, and half the tribe of Manasseh have taken their inheritance. 15 The two and a half tribes have taken their inheritance across the Jordan at Jericho toward the east.

16 The Lord spoke to Moses: 17 These are the names of the men who will assign the inheritance of the land: Eleazar the priest and Joshua, Nun’s son. 18 You will also take one chief from each tribe to apportion the land. 19 These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb, Jephunneh’s son; 20 from the tribe of the Simeonites, Shemuel, Ammihud’s son; 21 from the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad, Chislon’s son; 22 from the tribe of the Danites, a chief, Bukki, Jogli’s son; 23 from Joseph’s descendants: of the tribe of the Manassites, a chief, Hanniel, Ephod’s son; 24 and from the tribe of the Ephraimites, a chief, Kemuel, Shiphtan’s son; 25 from the tribe of the Zebulunites, a chief, Elizaphan, Parnach’s son; 26 from the tribe of the Issacharites, a chief, Paltiel, Azzan’s son; 27 from the tribe of the Asherites, a chief, Ahihud, Shelomi’s son; 28 from the tribe of the Naphtalites, a chief, Pedahel, Ammihud’s son.

29 These are the ones whom the Lord commanded to assign the inheritance of the Israelites in the land of Canaan.

Numbers 35   (Torah Portion Matot Massei)

The Lord spoke to Moses in the Moab plains by the Jordan across from Jericho:Command the Israelites that they give cities from their inherited property to the Levites in which to live. You will also give the Levites pastures around their cities. The cities will be theirs in which to live. Their pastures will be for their cattle, their possessions, and all their animals. The pastures of the cities that you must give to the Levites will extend from the wall of the city outward for one thousand five hundred feet in all directions. You will measure outside the city on the east side three thousand feet, on the south side three thousand feet, on the west side three thousand feet, and on the north side three thousand feet, with the city in the middle. These will be their cities’ pastures.

Six of the cities that you give to the Levites will be refuge cities. You will allow the person who kills someone to flee there. In addition to these you will give them forty-two cities.All the cities that you give to the Levites will total forty-eight, along with their pastures.As for the cities that you give from the property of the Israelites, you will take more from the larger tribes and less from the smaller. Each in proportion to its inheritance will give cities to the Levites.

The Lord spoke to Moses: 10 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 identify for yourselves cities to be refuge cities, where a person who kills someone by accident may flee. 12 The cities will be for you a place of refuge from the close relative of the dead. The person who killed someone may not be put to death until he stands before the community for judgment. 13 You will establish six refuge cities for yourselves. 14 You will establish three cities across the Jordan and three cities in the land of Canaan. They will be the refuge cities. 15 These six cities will be refuge for Israelites, immigrants, and temporary residents, as a place to flee for anyone who kills a person by accident.

16 But if someone strikes a person with an iron object and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer must definitely be put to death. 17 If someone strikes another with a stone in hand that could cause death and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer must definitely be put to death. 18 Or if someone strikes with a wood object in hand that could cause death, he is a murderer. The murderer must definitely be put to death. 19 The close relative responsible for the blood of the dead is the one who will put the murderer to death. When he meets him, he will execute him. 20 If in hatred someone hits another or throws something at him with premeditation, he will be put to death. 21 Or if in hostility someone strikes another with his hand and he dies, the one who struck is a murderer and he will be put to death. The close relative will put the murderer to death when he meets him.

22 But if suddenly and without hostility someone hits another or throws any object at him without premeditation, 23 or accidentally drops any stone on him that could cause death and he dies—even though they weren’t enemies and no evil was intended— 24 then the community must come to a verdict between the killer and the close relative in accordance with these case laws. 25 The community will protect the killer from the hand of the close relative and return him to the refuge city where he fled. He will live there until the death of the high priest who was anointed with holy oil. 26 But if the killer ever goes outside the boundaries of the refuge city where he fled 27 and the close relative finds him outside the boundary of his refuge city and kills him, he will not be responsible for his blood. 28 The killer must live in his refuge city until the high priest’s death. After the high priest’s death the killer may return to the land he owns.

29 These will be the regulations and case laws for all time in all your settlements.

30 Anyone who kills another will be executed on the evidence of witnesses. But one witness alone cannot testify against a person for a death sentence. 31 You may not accept a ransom for the life of a killer, who is guilty of a capital crime, for he must definitely be put to death. 32 You may not accept a ransom for someone who has fled to his refuge city so that he can return and live in the land before the priest’s death. 33 You may not pollute the land in which you live, for the blood pollutes the land. There can be no recovery for the land from the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. 34 You will not make the land in which you live unclean, the land in the middle of which I reside, for I the Lord reside among the Israelites.

Numbers 36   (Torah Portion Matot Massei)

The leaders of the households of the clans of Gilead, Machir’s son and Manasseh’s grandson, of Joseph’s clans, approached and spoke before Moses and the chiefs, who were the leaders of the Israelite households. They said, “The Lord commanded my master to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the Israelites. But my master was also commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. If they are married to someone from another Israelite tribe, their inheritance will be taken away from our household and given to another tribe into which they marry. Then it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. At the Israelite Jubilee, their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they married. Then their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of our ancestral tribe.”

Then Moses commanded the Israelites according to the Lord’s word: “The tribe of Joseph’s descendants are correct in what they’re saying. This is the word that the Lordcommands to Zelophehad’s daughters: They may marry whomever seems best to them, but they may only marry into one of the clans of their ancestral tribe, so that the inheritance of the Israelites doesn’t transfer from one tribe to another. The Israelites will each retain the tribal inheritance of his ancestral tribe. Every daughter who inherits land from an Israelite tribe must marry into one of the clans of her father’s tribe. In this way each Israelite will own the land of his ancestors. An inheritance of land may not be transferred from one tribe to another, for the Israelite tribes will each retain its own inheritance.”

10 Zelophehad’s daughters did as the Lord commanded Moses. 11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, Zelophehad’s daughters, married their cousins. 12 They married into the clan of Manasseh, Joseph’s son. Their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father’s clan.

13 These are the commandments and the case laws that the Lord commanded the Israelites through Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

Torah Portion Matot Massei    Numbers 30:2 - 36:13  

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